Embrace the Discombobulate

Discombobulate, a noun: the state of being discombobulated, out of sorts, wonkydonks and upheaved.

(English majors everywhere, pull your claws out of the plaster on the ceiling. I am fully aware that I made all that up. You’ll live.)

It has just been one of those days so far. The sort of day that ends up starting an hour and a half later than normal, because a misunderstanding that has plagued your marriage since your husband first lost his mind finally reached the needed clarity and the conversation was worth it. The sort where the cold outside has made the heater run nonstop, and everyone’s sinuses feel dry and scratchy and like you are sick when you actually aren’t (so I keep telling them. You have to submit a hefty dose of paperwork to apply for a sickness permit in this household, and my rubber stamp is on vacation. So there). It is a day where your hair product leaves you greasy and your new jeans are giving you a faux muffin top, because mid rise jeans are the worst idea since low rise jeans and even Kate Moss would feel poochy in this cut (whether she admits it or not) and did I mention the snow keeping me from my favorite hairdresser?? It is a day where school starts late and the chemical equations won’t balance and you run out of plausible reasons for why we are learning this stuff anyway. It is the sort of day where you nearly maim yourself trying to do a yoga pose called the revolved half moon and if you were smart, you would have downloaded TikTok and videoed yourself and probably become famous overnight for your sheer ridiculousness. It is a day for late blog posts… maybe more of a week for that, not that anyone is fussed about it, but it is an indicator for me of not feeling terribly inspired.

It is a Day Discombobulate.

It is a thing amongst yogis everywhere (not making this up. It is a word and it has nothing to do with live active bacteria. I checked) to lead classes in soothing tones and talk about your breath massaging your spine and organs (probably explains that sore spleen that has been keeping me up at night. Must have reefed a little too hard with my grand old lungs). Lest any of you be new here and don’t realize that I am the sort of person who snorts through yoga classes (there is a name for that kind of breathing, but I don’t know how to spell it and am downright afraid to search it on the internet. “Fire breath” in sanscript… what could go wrong? But for our purposes, let’s just call it “mocking”) but finds tremendous benefits from the movements and stretches, so I do it anyway. How dialectic of me.

Well, I was playing along the other day, right after we got our first snow, and I was face first on the carpet (because as fond as I am of swag, I flaked out and never actually bought a yoga mat. I figured that was more for people going to studios with hard wood floors, and hardly necessary in your own carpeted home. I was wrong) when she, from her domain on YouTube, instructed me to close my eyes, that my other senses might be heightened.

And boy howdy, were they.

I inhaled deeply… and then gagged more deeply. Have you ever gotten up close and personal with the smell of carpet after a first snow that your Quail frolicked in for an hour and then tracked in and allowed to air dry right where you chose to stretch out in child’s pose? Maybe not. But if you have ever walked into a warm room with a wet dog shaking itself off, your imagination can fill in the blanks. Suffice to say, the whole of my being went searching to activate any other sense it could possibly utilize —


Funny how easily we are drawn into this sort of sensory ignorance in our lives. We sniff the wet dog of suffering, and squeeze tightly shut our eyes of faith, refusing to thank the One who sent the dog, the snow, and the carpet we are stretched out on.

“Winter in the soul is by no means a comfortable season, and if it is upon you just now, it will be very painful to you. But there is this comfort, namely, that the Lord makes it. He sends the sharp blasts of adversity to nip the buds of our expectation. He scatters the frozen dew like ashes over the once fresh green meadows of our joy. He dispenses His icy morsels, freezing the streams of our delight. He does it all; He is the great Winter King and rules in the realms of frost, and therefore you cannot murmur. Losses, crosses, heaviness, sickness, poverty and a thousand other ills are of the Lord’s sending and come to us with wise design. Frosts kill harmful insects and restrain raging diseases; they break up the clods and sweeten the soul. O that such good results would always follow the winters of affliction!” — Charles Spurgeon

Breathe it in. We are not stoics, called to deny that the suffering hurts, that the winters of the soul frostbite our fingers and threaten to loosen our grip on our Lord. But use all of the senses — keep your eyes of faith wide open, listen for the sound of His voice in His word, smell the sweet aroma of the Spirit as He sustains you with hope, taste and see that the Lord is good — even and especially now. Embrace the Discombobulate.

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